Activities & Resources

Before you visit

Prepare Your Students in Advance of Their Visit [PDF]

Beyond Chicken Soup Archival Exploration [PDF]

Educational Standards [PDF]

During their visit, students will tour the exhibit with trained museum guides who will reinforce specific themes, provide instruction on exhibition activities and facilitate discussion on key topics.


Exhibit activities

Overview of BCS Education Activities

Language of Medicine 

The exhibition opens with a replica of Dr. Harry Friedenwald’s study complete with samples of his collection of medieval medical manuscripts. Texts are written in multiple languages included Greek, Latin, Hebrew, German and English. In this activity, students use blocks to construct medical terms using Greek roots and suffixes. As they learn about the Greek origins for specific medical terms, students also examine the relationships between words and disease terminology.

The Doctor Is In

In the exhibit’s university section, students learn about the process medical students undertake on their journey to becoming doctors. They will have the opportunity to don medical coats and scrubs and take a selfie of themselves in medical garb, potentially envisioning a future career in medicine.

Where Do You Go?

After exploring a 1920s period doctor’s office, students will reflect on the places where they receive medical care by placing magnets on various healthcare centers overlaid on a neighborhood map.

Vital Signs

Students will take part in an activity where they will be shown the vital signs for four different patients in the hospital and then decide whether the patients are in a healthy range based on the standard temperature, blood pressure, and pulse.

Design a Pharmacy Window

Students create pharmacy windows (based on examples in the exhibit of a 1950s Jewish-owned pharmacy) that address contemporary public health issues, while reflecting on aesthetics and the role of the pharmacy in a community.

Old Plants, New Medicine

The botanical connection between plants and remedies is the focus of this activity in which students open drawers containing herbal samples that they must identify as they explore their healing properties and relevance to contemporary times.

Decoding the Gene

In the laboratory students will learn that genes (dominant and recessive) are codes that shape the physical features of the body through an activity that illustrates the inheritance of recessive traits and the concern about hidden diseases that motivates people to take genetic tests.

What’s on Your Plate?

In the gymnasium section of the exhibit, students learn about evolving standards of health and wellness as they reflect on the important role of diet and exercise in individual and communal health. In this activity, they investigate the science of nutrition and the corresponding change in diet in typical American meals over the course of a century.

Test Your Strength

In this activity, also in the gymnasium, students show off their strength by attempting to squeeze a hand grip. Corresponding Yiddish terms are given depending on how hard they grip.

Touch screens 

There are three touch screen polls throughout the exhibit. Each screen invites students to vote on three to five thought-provoking questions on such topics as careers in medicine, doctors’ authority and medical research and innovation and then reveals how their answers compare with those of other visitors.